Parachilna
Collage of Parachilna.

Parachilna consists of the well restored Prairie Hotel, an airstrip, railway station, a few outbuildings and about 7 residents. The fact that the town exists at all is due to the inspired passion of the Fargher family who have run sheep and cattle in the Flinders Ranges for four generations. The restaurant boasts native bush food such as quandongs, bush apples, saltbush and native limes while the 'Feral Antipasto' tempts with such delights as smoked kangaroo, emu liver pate, kangaroo mettwurst and goat cheese. If tucking into the local wildlife is not your thing then take comfort in local South Australian fare like the magnificent King George Whiting or slow roasted lamb. The Farghers bought the Prairie Hotel in 1991 and have massaged it back into life with the sort of dedication that comes from being so passionate about your surroundings.

And what surroundings they are. The historic mining town of Blinman lies nearby via the Parachilna Gorge while the Flinders Ranges National Park and Wilpena Pound are an easy drive. The Heysen Trail is a bushwalking track while the Mawson Trail is a 900km cycling route from Blinman to Adelaide. Brachina Gorge offers the chance to take a dip in a secluded waterhole.

Parachilna was surveyed in 1863 due to it's proximity to a government well. Water is the single most valuable commodity in the outback and the supply was essential to pioneering travellers and settlers. Nearby Blinman was booming with a copper discovery and the few Parachilna townsfolk had to make their way to Blinman for supplies or an evenings entertainment at the North Star Hotel.

When the railway from Port Augusta to Farina was constructed it bypassed the township of Parachilna by a full 10km. When a railway siding and the Prairie Hotel were built on the line the townsfolk virtually picked up their town and moved it to the new location. Eventually the government recognised that the residents of Parachilna had voted with their feet and the 'new' town was surveyed in 1890.

The Flinders Ranges are renowned for the sunsets and the social highlight of a Parachilna evening is enjoying a beer while all three kilometres of the Leigh Creek train returns to Port Augusta with a load of coal.


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